With the completion of the 2022 NBA Draft begins a preseason that will surely be full of emotions: not only because of the expected changes and free agent signings, but also because of how each of the 58 young players that were taken this Thursday by the organizations begin to progress in the best basketball in the world.
Taking advantage of this important moment, we leave you with the most important aspects of this Thursday’s Draft.
Paolo Banchero Astonished Everyone by Being the First Overall Pick
While everyone was waiting for Jabari Smith Jr. to be taken by the Orlando Magic as the first overall pick of the 2022 NBA Draft, the organization surprised everyone with the selection of Paolo Banchero as the first pick.
The Duke University center was one of the most talked-about names to be among the first three picks and ended up being the number one thanks to his great athleticism, scoring ability and game-reading skills. There are few doubts about Banchero, who proved to be a leader in his college days and is shaping up to be a star for the Magic.
Detroit Pistons Hit the Jackpot
Not only had the Pistons made a nice pre-draft move by sending Jerami Grant to Portland for future picks, but at this year’s event they were also one of the big winners with a couple of pretty respectable picks.
The Detroit organization took Jaden Ivey, one of the top prospects in the class, as the fifth overall pick, while an hour after the draft ended they acquired Jalen Duren, who is considered one of the best rebounders in the draft, from Memphis. How did they do it? By sending the Grizzlies the 2025 protected first-round pick they had acquired from Portland for Grant. Absolute geniuses.
Portland made great moves both in and out of the Draft
While it was a good deal for the Pistons to move on from Jerami Grant, as we discussed earlier, it was also a big trade for Portland, which was complemented by the selection of Shaedon Sharpe as the seventh overall pick.
Both names indicate that the Trail Blazers want to remain competitive while also keeping their star, Damian Lillard, pleased after the departure of C.J. McCollum last season. Sharpe can be fresh help for Lillard and in turn become the future star of the organization.
Complex Moves by the Knicks
The New York Knicks’ day was somewhat complex and can be viewed positively or negatively depending on how you look at all the changes the organization made during the day.
While they traded their 11th overall pick for no other pick in this Draft or any player already making a life in the NBA, in short the Knicks acquired three protected first-round picks in the 2023 Draft.
However, the most important part of all this is that they also got rid of Kemba Walker and the $8 million he occupied in the team’s salary cap space, now having just over $16 million to find a good free agent on the market. Will they get it right this time?
Top 5 picks of the 2022 NBA Draft
The Thunder did not surprise anyone by selecting Gonzaga center Chet Holmgren with the second overall pick. Holmgren is one of the draft’s most skilled talents because of his scoring ability, but his physicality raises concerns. He was followed by Auburn graduate Jabari Smith Jr., who was taken by the Rockets, a team that was expected to take Banchero if the Magic took Smith Jr.
In the fourth spot the Kings took Iowa forward Keegan Murray, who’s considered one of the most mature and intelligent players in the class. Finally, to close out the Top-5, we have the aforementioned pick of Jaden Ivey by the Pistons, who is shaping up to be an excellent teammate for Cade Cunningham.